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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  April 7, 2012 3:15pm-4:30pm EDT

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>> glad you made it. >> i know. i'm sorry, it was fox -- i'm hosting o'reilly tonight, so it's like the worst timing. good to see you. >> laura, thank you so much for coming. such a big fan. >> sorry i'm late. >> no worries. >> thank you. how are you? >> hi, how are you? >> i'm great. thank you for being here. take care. hi, how are you? how's it going? >> good. >> there you go, you got one. nice to see you, bye-bye. how are you? >> good, how are you? i just want to say thank you, i'm an intern at heritage. >> oh, fantastic. oh, good, come over and be an intern for us. >> that'd be great. >> e-mail our web site, put intern on the subject line. >> thank you. >> all right. hi, how are you? >> i watch you every day, so i wanted to meet you once. >> oh, thank you. watch me tonight, i'm hosting o'reilly. hi, how are you? >> glad you got in. >> sorry, it was a little hairy out there.
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>> hi, gene, how you doing? >> i'm doing fine. >> great to see you. thanks for become here. i'll do it. hello, how are you? >> good. i listen to you all the time. appreciate it. >> oh, really? do we make you laugh? >> you didn't get bruised, did you? [laughter] >> hi. >> how are you? >> i'm great, how are you? it's great to see you. >> hi. >> how you doing? >> good, how are you? >> you having fun here? you excited? you don't like anxiety-ridden. >> i'm not anxious at all. >> great to see you. >> thanks for coming. >> oh, my pleasure. hi, how are you? >> oh, i love watching you on fox. >> well, thank you for watching. we need you to support us. watch o'reilly tonight, i'm hosting. >> oh, are you really? >> yes. >> okay. >> how are you? >> nice to meet you in person. huge fan. >> thank you, back at ya. >> in this next panel from the virginia festival of the book, elliot carlson, author of joe rochefort's war, and robert
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gillette talk about two different men whose experiences in world war ii were extraordinary but not well known. this is about an hour and ten minutes. >> thank you. as readers, we see the end product. it's almost as if we are noticing an iceberg, and the book is the visible part of the iceberg, but we really don't get any real understanding or glimpses into the process of the writing and the process of the research. um, this will give you a little bit of an insight. people always ask me, well, how did you find out about this story? um, no one knew about it, how did you find out about it? well, it went like this. pop pop, i got to tell you something. and my daughter-in-law pulled me by the elbow, and she said i've got to tell you something.
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a friend of mine told me that he went to a graduation at hampton sydney college several -- quite a few years ago, and he stayed at a b and b in brookville. the name of the b and b was hyde park farm. and when he went to the breakfast after he slept overnight there, he looked out in the back, and he saw these -- through the very large picture window, he saw ten very substantial log buildings. and he asked the waitress, what are those buildings back there? and she said, those are the jew huts. there were these people called jews who lived here. well, that was sort of strange. jew huts, people called jews almost as if looking back into a nonexistent civilization that had vanished somehow. she told me that, and five years
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later after a tremendous amount of research up and down the coast and speaking with people in australia, in europe, israel i now understand what that waitress meant, jew huts. those people called jews. two and a half years i was at the national archives searching for records, dragging my wife marsha along with me the whole way. the very last day that we were going to look for one particular insight that i needed, the state department records on immigrants coming to the united states going to a farm on burkeville, in burkeville, virginia. i was ready to give up. and i sat one of the archivists down, and i said, please, please, let me tell you the story. i'm looking for records, state
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department records of immigrants, so forth and so forth, and he shook his head. i said, every time i would get in the records, there would be an orange piece of paper, and there would be a name that i wanted to do research on, and that name, that piece of paper said earnest kramer, for an example, killed hyde farm lands. killed? did that mean purged, did it mean transferred? no one knew, the archivist didn't know, and he said, finally, i don't know what that means. he said, come with me. and so he took me into the archives. now, if you're not an archivist, this is like going to mecca. this is like going to the pen trail yum, indeed, of the world's records. and we went into one door and opened up with a plastic card and then went into another door with a plastic card, another door with a plastic card, and i thought -- and especially some of you here will remember, i felt like i was going into jack
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benny's vault. [laughter] finally, we get into the room, and there's a huge room, oh, about i would say a city block long. shelf after shelf of metal shelf, box after box, sort of dark in there. we went to one end of the room, and he said, well, look here and i'll look there. no, no. and all of a sudden he said, mm, let's try something. he walked clear across this huge room, and he got on all fours, and he pulled out a box, and he says i don't know, but -- and he gave me the box. i pulled it off the shelf, and i look in the box, and i'm pushing and looking and looking and looking, and at the very end of the box are 210 pages of all the state department records dealing with immigrants, these people i was interested in, coming to the united states. hyde farmlands. i turned to him, and i hugged him. he was a very shy guy. [laughter] and he looked at me, i could -- and it was dark. [laughter] and i said, i said, you did it,
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you did it! after two and a half years. and then he did something that i will never forget for the rest of my life. he pointed to a shelf filled with boxes, and he said you are the first person in over 70 years ever to open that box. he said, you will now know more than anyone else in the world. and i thought to myself, what a responsibility. and he pointed to the other boxes, and he said every single one of these boxes has a story to tell. it's screaming to be told, and no one comes down here. let's tell the story. this is verna angress, about 16 years old. look how menacing he is.
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he is the enemy of the nazi regime. he is dangerous. watch out for him. he represents what was going on in germany in the 1930s. the jewish community, of course, was being strangled, strangled. by the nazi edicts, by nuremberg laws, citizenship was stripped away from jews who thought they were germans, and all of a sudden they realized according to edict they were no longer german citizens. teenagers had a extraordinarily difficult time. teenagers always have problems. they're problems of identity. who am i? and all of a sudden now not only who am i as a human being, but who am i as a german, as a jew? they were kicked out of their schools, they were depressed, they were scared. they lived in what i call the land of whispers.
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parents whispering to each other, what are we going to do? we don't have an income. how can we leave germany if we don't have money? should we send somehow grandparents away? how can they possibly make a change in their lives at their stage of the game? wis whispers. and the last whisper: should we send our kids away? parents thinking they would separate and send their kids away. in if 1933 -- in 1933 leo beck, a leader in the berlin and german community, said 1933, the end of german judaism has arrived. and an american jewish committee bulletin said if the future of adult jews in germany is hopeless, what can we say about the future of jewish children? to give you an example, this is eva's passport. you'll meet eva a little bit
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later on. eva went to england in 1935. she went to england in 1935 to go to a boarding school to study english. the same passport she used in 1939, and look what's happened between '35 and '39. '39, all of a sudden, has a j for jew, and if you missed that, bureaucrats, we are underlining the name in red, and not only that, her name now is sara. for all the jewish girls and all the jewish women now took on the name of sara, and all the men took on the name of israel. what was the jewish community in germany going to do? they decided that in order to get the kids out of germany, they had to developing a churl training -- agricultural training institutes, and the reasoning behind this was that
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if they could train youngsters to becoming a churlists -- agriculturalists, farmers, other countries would want them because they thought farmers were always in demand. and they bought, or rather leased for nothing, a training institute in germany. the person who became the head of this institute to train these people was a social psychologist, kurt bondi, an amazing man, way ahead of his time. his specialty was how do you treat juvenile delinquents and turn their lives around? his professorships, of course, were strict through the nuremberg laws. they settled on the institute, and the institute became an island of safety for these kids. because they were insulated, if you will, from the maniacal
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prejudice and discrimination and assault on the jewish people. they made great friends. there were about 100 of them in their first class that went from 1936 to 1938. that's what was happening in germany. what was happening on this side of the atlantic? this isalheymer department story in the late 1930s. anyone ever visit the department store? let me see, show your hands. this was the flagship. this was a beautiful place to go. people went there from all over the area, north carolina, everywhere. and they would even stay overnight because it was major event to go there. it was busy outside, and it was busy inside. but the real business took place in the office of william b.tallheymer. this was the command center. in 1930 he went to germany on a
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buying trip with his kids and iowa net, his wife. and it was in germany that he had the first encounter with the brown shirts. he was staying with a couple that they met in sweden, and they thought were lovely people, and when they got to germany in their apartment staying overnight, they realized that they were that the si sympathizers. and one night the windows were thrown over, no airen canning at the -- air-conditioning at the time, and down below was a brown shirt demonstration. and the drumming and the screaming reverberated off of the cobblestones and off of the, off of the stone buildings and went straight up in the air, and, therefore, right into the apartment where they were staying. tall heymer said, it's time to go home. he was frightened, i do believe, and scarred to his very soul. and that day, that night, he determined that he was going to help people get out of germany if he possibly could.
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william b.thalhimer between 1930 and 1938 and beyond the chairperson for resettlement of german jews in the entire country. he was running a department store, he was a father, he was involved in richmond, but he was going all over the country trying to help people with strategies of how to take people, those immigrants who could possibly get in, how to resettle them into communities. what was thalhimer facing? he went ahead, and he purchased a farm in burkeville, and he named the farm hyde farmlands. he found out about the gross braceson institute just by chance from someone in new york. he bought the farm before he had any assurance that students from
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gross braceson would be able to get their visas and come to the united states. the farm cost $15,000, 1200 acres. he put in another $10,000 -- all of his own money -- for repair, for tools, for machines and what have you. what was thalhimer? facing? he was facing a department of state that was totally, totally against having jews and immigrants come to this country. he found that it was a topography of exclusion, and he had to in some way or another, he had to maneuver that rocky topography. in 1930 to 1938 out of a possible 208,000 possible, potential immigrant visas to be issued from germany to the united states, only 32,000 were
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issued. 26,000 a year possibilities, 4,000 issuesed. how was it possible that they were being blocked by the state department? a memo by william carr, assistant secretary of state. the name of his memo that came out in 1935, quote, the name of the memo was "the problem of aliens seeking relief from persecution in germany." who is -- whose problem was it? the desperate people trying to get out of germany? they had a problem. no, it was the problem of the state department. how are we going to keep them out? and so how did they do it? very quickly. by the way, this is raymond gies who is the counsel general in berlin and, in my estimation,
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belongs in the righteous gentile list in israel. he went into concentration camps. he did not represent the state department. in what they were doing. and how do they do it? ltc, likely to become a public charge. if you don't have money, you can't get in. if you don't have money in germany, you can't pay your way in. if you don't have relatives who have a huge amount of money, in america you cannot come in. and the trick question that they had asked over and over again, if you want to get in. and i would say to you as a consul in germany, do you have promise or a contract for job? yes, i do, i have a letter. and they would say, i'm sorry, you can't come in. and you would say, but i have a way of supporting myself. and the answer was, you cannot come into this country because
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of the contract labor law. in other words, if you had a promise or a contract of a job to come into the united states, you could not come into the united states. this is crazy. can you imagine the frustration of these young people? immigrants came to the, finally came in 1938. those who were here in this country, four or five, prepared it for those who were going to come later on. eva, whom you're going to meet later, still living, 92 years old, living on a farm in connecticut by herself sitting next to a wood-burning stove with stacks of books that you and i would be reading every day, intellectually sharp and laughs even to this day when she says to us, in the morning i would deliver calves, and she became a nurse in the afternoon i'd deliver babies. people still come to her at 92
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years old. a graduate of gross braceson who came to hyde farmland because they came there to get their blood pressure checked by her. crystal knock,1938, the greatest modern to grom in the history of modern history. it was a wake-up call for a lot of people that we had to do something to get these jews out of germany before it was too late. the immigration numbers rose, but they did not, they did not rise to 26,000 a year. through the heroic patience of william b. thalhimer, he brought these kids over, he bought a farm, he fought with the state department for 15 months, and the cases went from low-level
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deputies to secretaries of -- assistant secretaries of state to secretary of state to secretary of labor, and they're talking back and forth and arguing about territorial turf, if you will, of why they can't let these kids in. they got to hyde farmlands, they used a buzz saw that we just found a couple of months ago which was given to me and is now in lynchburg, and it's going to go up to a museum in new york soon. they built these very, very substantial chicken houses. those are the jew huts. and they were very proud of their poultry farm. as a matter of fact, virginia tech extension says that at burkeville these young immigrants formed the beginning of the poultry industry in virginia.
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germany, of course, continued on, invaded holland, and four out of the 25 that were on thalhimer's list to the state department were trapped in holland and never made it and were killed in concentration camp. the farm broke up in 1941 is because it was not sustainable. thalhimer was suffering from a very, very severe heart attack. one of the fellows on that truck or standing up there was werner, we saw him earlier. he changed his name to tom sawyer. in 1945 that same boy is a sergeant in the u.s. army. the gross braceson men who came to hyde farmlands all
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volunteered. they became translators, interrogators. they became the ritchie boys of camp ritchie. they were dropped even behind the lines. and one of the, one of the men from hyde farmlands came back to liberate buchenwald. he was a prisoner in 1938. can you imagine? can you imagine what his feelings must have been? okay, my timer went off, and i'm going to make sure even though i have a little bit more to go -- >> go ahead. >> maybe i can -- i'm asked when we go to hyde farm lands today, that's what it looks like. and there is the jew hut, 70-plus years still standing, and i've been given a jew hut. my wife, marsha s absolutely terrified, where am i going to
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put it. and there is a little brook where the kids used to go to cool off their ankles after working in central virginia tobacco farms, after living in germany. can you imagine? what they must have gone through? i'm asked over and over and over again, well, you wrote this book. sure, and i said i read this book. and they said, well, of course, you read it, you wrote it. and i said there's a difference between reading and writing. i said, now i ask this question in jewish intellectual tradition. the torah, the bible is written in black fire and white fire. black fire are the letters you see, and white fire is the message in between the lines, and that's where the meaning is. when i pick up this book and
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read it and ask what is the meaning of this book? let's save that for the questions later. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> i don't work unless i'm plugged in. >> in the right one? you're up. >> okay. i'm wired. well, i want to thank you all for coming to hear about this gentleman who has occupied the six years of my life. my story is about an improbable navy hero who, in all likelihood, couldn't thrive in the navy today. he would have too many things going against him. he was a high school dropout, he hadn't, he had no college background. worse, he hadn't been to the
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naval academy. virtually a precondition for success in the navy in the 1920s. yet this gentleman started at the bottom in 1918 as an electrician third class in the naval reserve. nevertheless, on may 30, 1986, president reagan awarded him a distinguished service medal. he couldn't be there himself because he had died ten years earlier in 1976. reagan presented the medal to rochefort's two children, his daughter janet and his son, colonel joseph rochefort jr., u.s. army, retired. he is now deceased. the medal was for achievements
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for rochefort made during the weeks leading up to the battle of midway on june 4, 1942. forty-four years before he got this medal. he performed these deeds while commanding a code breaker's unit at pearl harbor that is now famously known as station hypo. he and his code-breaking crew in the early weeks of may broke the imperial japanese code, broke the main code of the imperial japanese navy. this coup exposed a massive japanese buildup in empire waters. using rochefort's intelligence, admiral chester nimitz, the commander of the pacific fleet,
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deployed three carriers to the point near midway. there they surprised that large armada and scored one of the great naval victories of world war ii, an outcome that turned the tide of war against japan. rochefort credited -- nimitz credited rochefort in part for that success. and recommended him for a distinguished service medal. rochefort didn't get that medal. it was turned down by admiral ernest j. king, demander in -- commander in chief of the u.s. fleet in washington. he did so, he acted on the advice of rochefort's superiors in washington. those were officers who ran something called op 20g. keep op 20g in mind, you're going to be hearing a lot about it. op 20g was the navy's main cliptology unit in washington -- cliptology unit in washington, it was a very important entity. it represented the encryption and translation of all foreign
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naval messages. in the case of the imperial navy, that work was done at op 20g itself and at two field stations; station cast in the philippines and a station hypo at pearl harbor. as officer in if charge of hypo, rochefort reported, was accountable to those gentlemen at op 20g in washington. for a whole lot of reasons, reasons that will be clear soon enough, these officers did not like rochefort. they told king that rochefort didn't deserve the medal, that he hadn't earned it. they did more than torpedo his medal, they derailed his career. four months after midway, rochefort was relieved of his post at hypo and consigned to an
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out-of-the-way san francisco bay shipyard. he was ordered to supervise the building of a floating dry dock. you might wonder how this could happen. how could this very accomplished officer have taken such a tumble to unravel the mystery of rochefort's decline and fall, we must begin with the man himself. just who was joe rochefort? there are many versions of rochefort. anyone who has seen the movie "midway" will be familiar with hollywood's version. in this film he was played by actor hal holbrook as a kind of clown, an ec sent rick officer -- eccentric officer who was a loudmouth, speaks with a folksy twang, he chomps big cigars, he ambles about sloppily dress inside a red smock. the officers and member who served under rochefort hated
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this description of their old boss. they described him as a tall, slender, aristocratic gentleman who spoke softly and smoked the pipe at his desk. he did have his quirks. he had an acerbic wit and a capacity forker reverence and blunt speech that surprised even his closest friends. this was his big weakness. he couldn't abide people that he thought were stuffed shirts. usually superior officers that he deemed as unworthy or second rate in some wayment so he made his share of enemies over the years. he did wear a maroon smoking jacket in the confines of his work area. a cold, clammy place in the basement of a navy administration building at
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pearl. this is the way the building looks today and the way it looked then. that building next to that tree is the entrance to rochefort's basement. that's the basement, rochefort's basement, and that's rochefort's basement. that's an artist's conception. no photographs were ever taken of that basement while rochefort was there because he was very security conscious, wouldn't allow any photographers in. so that's the best idea we have of it. as for the smoking jacket, he wore it for reasons of self-defense. as he explained, quote: it wasn't that i was eccentric of anything, it was a practical matter. it was cold down there. rochefort didn't start out as a code breaker. while serving aboard a tanker in the 1920s, he so impressed his
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superiors with his ability at bridge and problem solving they thought he should be a clip to analyst, and they put the word out to the navy department, and he was transferred to the navy department for instruction in 1925. after four months of training, amazingly enough, he was put in charge of the navy's whole code breaking unit. that's a long story which i will come back to maybe later if you ask me. he now ran a group of, a group consisting of one officer, himself, and four civilians. happily, one of the civilians was an experienced cryptanalyst. that was the brilliant but haughty agnes meyer driscoll. he was known as miss aggy. missing agy became joe's teacher, and together they broke the red code, the name of the
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imperial code for the japanese navy at that time. mr. aggy actually went on to train many of the navy's top code breakers over the next decade and a half. quite a character. soon rochefort acquired a new enthusiasm. the japanese language. impressed by his obvious brilliance, the navy in 1929 ordered him to tokyo to learn that language. three years later he returned to the u.s. fully accomplished in japanese and ready for his next big assignment. that came in the spring of 1941. with war looming in the pacific, washington made him an offer. would he assume command of the navy's small decrypt unit at pearl? at first he hesitated. he wasn't sure he wanted that job for all kinds of reasons that had to do with his health and the toll it took on his health in the 1920s. but the offer had come from his
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old mentor at the state department, his first teacher, lieutenant lawrence stafford. stafford now ran that controversial group op 20g. rochefort did take the job, but he drove a hard garon. -- bargain. he would regard the commander in chief of the pacific fleet -- this was now admiral kimmel, as his primary client. he would report his radio findings first to kimmel and only secondarily to op 20g. he thought it was very important for the intelligence officer to have a direct relationship with the fleet commander. this reporting relationship worked fine as long as stafford was in charge of op 20g. that changed after the disaster on december 7, 1941. a new commander at the u.s.
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fleet, err necessary king -- ernest king, thought the code-breaking unit in washington should be reorganized, and he swept stafford out of office. he was removed and transferred to a lesser position. stafford was replaced by commander john redman. he was a little-known officer whose background was in traditional communications, that is the nuts and bolts of regular communications. he had no background, no experience in code breaking or cryptoanalysis. he did recognize this deficiency, however, and he brought in some help. he brought in commander joseph winger. now, winger did have some background in cryptology, and
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very soon he would emerge as the brains of op 20g. winger had a totally different concept than rochefort. he thought it should be centralized in washington. redman loved the idea because it would enlarge his scope, but it would imperil the ability of rochefort to report directly to the fleet commander. the redman/winger concept was supported by a third new member of king's leadership team. this was captain joseph redmond. you'll notice a lot of redmonds. this is john redmond's older brother. he ran naval communications, and op 20g was a subunit of naval communications. so the redmond brothers essentially ran the cliptology function for the navy in washington. back at pearl, rochefort took a dim view of the op 20g makeover.
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he didn't know the redmond brothers, nor was he aware of joe winger's ideas for reestablishing the relationships of op 20g. but rochefort surmised washington and hypo and he might be on a collision course. rochefort's suspicions proved correct. soon it became clear that hypo and op 20g had totally different concepts of station hypo's mission. the redmonds went on to turn hypo, excuse me, into a sort of collection agency. it would collect intercepts, it would decrypt them and then send
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the raw material to washington, to op 20g, for evaluation. washington would do the thinking. rochefort wouldn't go along with that. he believed that he was, quote, better fitted -- that's what he said -- to evaluate decrypts than the people in washington, and he later came to think of them as clowns. so he continued to report first to nimitz. the contest between washington and pearl intensified in may. by this time analysts at all of the navy's decrypt entities had made giant strides cracking the imperial navy's main code. they all picked up clues pointing to a major imperial navy offensive. they all agreed the track would be big, but they didn't know where the imperial navy was headed. but in march, two months earlier, hypo had intercepted a transmission from a japanese scout plane that described a certain island in the central
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pacific and identified it with a geographic designator af. the island fit the description of midway located 1200 miles northwest of hawaii. now, two months later on may 13, hypo intercepted another message containing the designator or, af. in this message, this message convinced rochefort and his code breakers, they all agreed that japan was heading for midway, and rochefort promptly informed the pacific fleet intelligence officer, eddie lateen. hue tent commander laten and rochefort or were old friends. they had studied japanese together in tokyo in the early '30s, and they trusted each other. laten presented rochefort's
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findings to admiral nimitz, and nimitz agreed unquestionably. clearly, the imperial navy was heading towards midway. and nimitz radioed his findings and his judgment to admiral king in washington. and waited. king at first rejected nimitz's idea. but in a few days king did something he rarely did. he changed his mind and concurred that the imperial navy was, indeed, heading for midway. this should have settled matters, but it didn't. op 20g didn't believe that af was midway. john redmond and his analysts here theorized the coming attack might be anywhere, possibly samoa or johnson island or possibly hawaii itself, anywhere but midway. the army also doubted that admiral yamamoto, commander in
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chief of the combined fleet, would amass so large a force to vanquish so small an atoll. the army thought the japanese were gearing up for a massive attack on the west coast. nimitz now felt he needed stronger evidence that af was midway. rochefort discussed the matter with his team and an officer told him that freshwater supply was a constant problem at midway. they desized a scheme approved by nimitz in which midway would report in plain language to pearl harbor that a mishap at its distilling plant had imperilled and jeopardized his water supply. they were desperate for water. such a message, hypo thought, would be picked up by the japanese and relayed to tokyo. af had a water crisis. japanese radio men did, indeed, take that bait.
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their message to tokyo was heard by u.s. code breakers in melbourne, australia. that was the site where the regular code breakers had been evacuated. millburn passed this information to op 20g. melbourne passed this information to op 20g. op 20g was a surprise to the japanese to learn that midway had a water crisis. rochefort, as was his custom by now, hadn't bothered to tell his bosses in washington what he was doing, and they weren't aware of the water ploy. but when they read the japanese dispatch, there was no question where the japanese were headed, and they now accepted the midway estimate. the case was closed. nimitz now proceeded with his plan to surprise the japanese heading for midway which, as we all know, he did. in the aftermath of that
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victory, rochefort should have been the man of the hour. he was in the eyes of nimitz. finish but not so in the eyes of op 20g. the redmond weren't happy with rochefort. he wasn't subrogating himself to their authority. as if this wasn't enough, the red mondays were now asked to comment on nimitz's proposal that rochefort receive a distinguished service medal. the navy's second highest decoration at that time. they argued against it, said rochefort hadn't been in combat with the enemy, and king scuttled it. the redmonds did more than that. joseph redmond submitted a devastating memo to vice admiral frederick horn. horn was a big shot. he was king's deputy, and he had the power to hire and fire.
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redmond told horn some whoppers. joseph redmond in a memo to horn said that the station hypo, the navy station, radio intelligence unit at pearl was actually failing, not succeeding. it was faltering because of weak leadership. hypo was weak, red monday told horn -- redmond told horn because it was headed biesome somebody who was simply a former japanese language student. joseph redmond's disgraceful memo serves as the basis for horn's decision in october 942 -- 1942 to relieve rochefort. rochefort was ordered to that san francisco shipyard i told you about, and he proceeded to supervise the building of that dry dock. that floating dry dock. which he did very well. so he won praise for his work on that dry dock, and he ended the
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war on a high note. running a unit in washington charged with doing long-range studies -- excuse me -- long-range studies of japan's war capability.
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code talkers were the people who could talk between themselves. i don't know. maybe the navajo were talking between themselves when the american forces in the pacific's fear, but i understood that no one was able to break the codes. this is the first time i have
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heard this. >> actually, the navajo folks, their contribution in the pacific islands, the campaigns, and valuable. they were speaking navajo to each other. >> that's correct. >> there were not speaking in code. it wasn't really code. it were really code talkers, although they have been described as code talkers. >> yes. the reservation. the navajo code talkers. >> code talkers. it was towed to the japanese. they didn't know what they were hearing. >> that's right. >> totally baffled. the american navy did break the main cut of the imperial japanese navy in 1942. within, for that matter the army or navy together broke diplomatic code in late 1940 and early 41. they broke the diplomatic code.
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the americans did pretty well. the root the diplomatic code and the baroque flute and a navy operational code. [inaudible] >> the reader is acting. >> bouquet. i think it says to me that there are all kinds of heroes hidden heroes himself because for 15 months he battled the state department. in the very beginning this department was very, very
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skeptical. more than skeptical. what kind of scheme is this man involved in that he wants to bring 25 address to come here? and you could see, over 15 months through the memos and what have you that the state department mello's. it wasn't anything technical that finally won the freedom of these youngsters. it was the integrity and the courage and the patients and the stamina for and to battle the state department's in overwhelming odds for 15 months. so what does it tell to be, that there is something about courage and heroism that is not always so obvious. the heroism of the young people, the courage it must have taken for them to come to this country and start new lives when they knew that their own families were being slaughtered in
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europe, to be able to carry on. by the way, not one of those immigrants ever suffered from what we call survivors remorse. they committed themselves to the communities that they joined after the war, and they became doctors and lawyers and peach trees and professors as a social workers and teachers, architects artists. so the message i think that certainly i take away from reading a book like this is that every single individual is absolutely precious. and that one person can really make a difference if he has and she has the courage and the conviction to fight, to notice and to recognize when a situation is what it is and to act upon its. there is a saying in your ideas and.
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every moment when delays his efforts to redeem captives when he could have helped them is considered as if he had shed blood himself. i don't know if this was known. he was pretty much in their classical reforms you at the time. at any rate in a place where there are no men, no mention, no people with real courage and conviction, strive to be one. in hebrew it is. [speaking in native tongue] , if not now, wind. you hear that a lot. they don't know what the source of that is. what is in between the lines? when i talk in particular to young people, hopefully what is going to happen is that they will gain hope and courage from the actions of individuals who made a difference. that's what i think there are saying, at least to me. maybe you will read and see
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other answers for questions, but the key for the question. >> yes. with respect to the europeans, massive numbers of people were involved in the deciphering that. , was the effort similar for the japanese code? >> a huge difference between the european machine and for that matter the diplomatic machine. that was a machine code with about a dozen riders and lots of complicated wiring. and once the cryptanalyst understood how the logic of that machine, the logic of that code, they built a machine that replicated the german machine sending the code. the japanese code was totally different. jn25 was not a machine code.
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it was what you would call the paper and pencil code or a manual code. the code breakers would hit large put out the jay into five which were five digits, groups that could mean anything, 50,000 codes groups, and superimposed on that were 50,000 additives that were false numbers to really throw off the code breakers. so you had to figure out a key to unravel the additives before you even got to the code groups. you did this by paper and pencil. they did use some ibm equipment as co leaders to keep track of every element of the code they had. if you read it intercepts that had the mission or the destination of a ship that it
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was carrying, whenever ship it was, all this would go on cards. literally thousands of cards per week into these machines. when they got a code they had a similar or intercept that had a similar kind of message to it would bring out these putouts as a clue to break the code that there were looking at at that moment. but a code group could mean anything. it could mean dive bomber. it could mean a place, and action. these cryptanalyst had to of understand, had to figure out the code groups. they never did. they never figured out 50,000 codes groups. never got more than 20 percent of the 50,000. they were able to figure out enough of the words were enough, able to recover enough so that they could fill in blanks.
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this was what he was good that. his years in japan and his years studying japanese helped him with those blanks. and it was rush for is ability to fill in the blanks that really led to the success at midway. >> yes. >> yes. on the virginia plan, to questions. are there any survivors that have immigrated? any of those game? >> twenty-five that were on the list. twenty-one made it. all of those gained u.s. citizenship. of course the men gain citizenship when they served in the army. so they all became citizens. they all became a really outstanding members of the communities in which they
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finally settled. yes. in this country out of the 21 -- i would say there are about five still living. we are in constant contact with three or four no, one of which cognitively is not able to communicate. amazing people. this one person that george lynn decker, a fellow that you might -- he was the last one to come out of holland in 1940. to this very day, to this very day he almost quivers. i don't know how lucky i was that i was able to get out when i got out. and so the debt is so strong, and occurred monday, their leader, who did come here, escape the germans in 1940 and became a professor at the branch
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of will and mary, went back to germany in 1950 and reintroduced modern psychology to the german universities, that fellow who liberated state in germany in dedicated his entire life to building a democracy once again in germany. so in all of these ways they are the hidden and unsung heroes. >> yes. >> this, sir. >> one of the uses of the code was when we found out that yamamoto was traveling. was he around for that? >> it was his old unit that intercepted that message and broke the code. he was long gone by that time. the emotive issue done was in april 1943. in april 43 he was just getting
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ready to open that dry dock. but his zero crew did it. >> serve. >> traffic conditions. most of them were not qualified. a large group of them were banned from the u.s.s. california. >> one of the misconceptions is that the work does codebreakers. therein the killing machines, a lot of the machinery.
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they served as clerks. they did a lot of transcribing. they made themselves very, very cool and very useful. there were some primitive codebreaking that they could do. the codebreaking was actually a three step process that began with a cryptanalyst breaking the keep that lead to the real code groups. so if you had this printout of code groups he had recovered, and intercepted front of you, maybe you could match the code groupon the printout with a blank on the intercepted front of you. they could do some elementary work like that. they didn't know the real codebreaking. [inaudible] >> actually, joe love that. he was very, very devoted to those men. he called them the best group of catullus and codebreakers in the world.
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he was -- he embraced. he was a very iconic guide. he was not demonstrative or emotional, but he just kind of radio they kind of authority and a kind of sense of satire and savvy that they like to. so a lot of the newcomers with this kind of hang around his desk. a little bit of a pest, but one guy said i just want to soak up the sports in a row to. he had a way of handling people who he thought were too noisy, too disruptive. he had periods of that would tend to be instructive to those that were there, to be all little less disruptive, little less noisy. >> sir. >> he talked, i see this part in your eye. is that your next book? >> thank you.
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i have been asked to take this story and all the research that i have here into no retest the story and the telling of the story. because unpeople the need to know about courage and heroism, and they need to know about what happens during this time. so that is going to be. and there are some personalities . i call the characters better in this book. i feel like i know them very, very, very well after all of the research and communicating. that is where it is going. >> the one book that was found in the archives, or did you look at all? >> that is another lifetime. there are echoes in that place. he talks about stories screaming
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to be told. they are there. and most of the more -- most of them will never be told, and that is a shame. probably another lifetime, and afraid. hopefully i get it. [inaudible] >> he talked about physical structures in the landscape. the distractions, some of them, also artifacts. how would you propose to honor that landscape no? try to preserve. >> first of all, there is going to be a marker, state marker, historic marker, high farm land itself is undergoing the process of becoming an historic recognized site, which is very,
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very important to. the buildings that i did show you, many of them are falling down after 70 some odd years. one of them is going to be preserved in lynchburg. we will send part of that wall up to new york. the book itself and the son of tom andrews percy is a screenwriter. his screenplay has just been accepted at the berlin film festival. now they are raising money so that his story can become a film part of that, of course, is going to be his experience in high farm lands and the army and so forth. it is privately-owned, and the state no. we are not sure what is going to happen to a. it needs in somehow or another to be protected. >> other questions?
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>> can you tell us -- i know the state of virginia, but are you talking about are tell? where is that physically located? >> you will drive right by it. it is read by crew. okay. on 460 if you are going from farm bill and continuing east on 460 you will come across the remnants of a town. it used to be a major railroad of in virginia. >> abelia. >> what? >> amelya. we did a program in your film. over 100 people had to turn away 25. most of them were farmers in the area. they had never known about this, and they are so excited and proud to have this bill of
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history in their own backyard. yes. >> server. >> he must've done pretty well after this. the ted commander? >> he was a commander. yes. he had one more promotion before he -- he did well in washington running that study unit. >> you know, you have a point there. for a guy who is a little bit smarter however, one of his colleagues thought that he was the a slam-dunk to me. all the way up and be one of the architects.
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he never got that chance. he was to be left alone. your wasting your talent here. this dry dock. and jim said leave me alone here. i don't want to mess with that crew in washington. i don't have any respect for them. the admiral never listens to him. you belong in washington. they had a unit. japan's ability to wage war. he impressed his people that he reported to end may captain. >> i will ask a last question. i grew up in richmond, virginia. >> i could tell that. >> might twang. >> yes.
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>> it's worse when i drink. i have never heard, never heard. i was raised by my grandmother and the generation that preceded me was as that question and none of them had ever. i was wondering if he could comment on that. >> no one has heard of this. even the family today, great grand kids end grandson's, a little bit because there are some reunions of these coming back in the newspapers. covered most of the intermission. i've learned that what you read in newspapers for the most partisan correct in terms of facts and figures. came from a generation that was known as the silent generation. they did things that they felt would need to be done. he did know where it on their sleeves. there was another reason why people did not know about this.
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a jewish community in the 1930's suffered from the greatest anti-semitism in the history of america fell forget high farmland's was located in the middle of kkk territory. you put together entire german, anti-immigrant, anti-jewish feelings that were very, very strongly that time and you can see why he would go ahead and proceed in a rather tactful, tactful manner. he did not want this to gain a lot of reputation or a lot of information to be out there because then the state department would get it all from congressman and what have you. not supposed to let immigrants in. and so there were several factors what people did not hear about it. but even the family, when the
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book came out i must say, and as soon as your last year, she wrote a book about the department store history, even she didn't know the facts of what it was, and she is delighted to know that her daughter's will now know what her great, great, great grandfather did in order to save people in this country. yet. >> please remember, there are books for sale. the office will be willing to describe them. please send in your little yellow cards in the way of evaluation. i hope to see you at other book festival events. let's please think the authors. [applause] >> that was elliott carlson and robert gillette on the hidden heroes of world war two. in a few minutes we will be back with more from the virginia festival of the book.
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>> you're watching book tv on c-span2. here is to night's prime-time lineup. starting at 7:00 p.m., james hormel discusses his experiences as the first openly gay u.s. ambassador. at 745 dr. ben carson examines the similarities between the united states and empires that have declined by assessing the current social and political landscape. then at 9:00 p.m. eastern we will be air our call-in with chris kyle, the most lethal sniper in u.s. military history. we conclude tonight's prime-time programming with our weekly afterwards program. the author of the richer sex talks about gender roles from an economic perspective. visit for more on this weekend's television schedule. >> let me preface my talk about kurt vonnegut by reading you the third page of the prologue. that will serve as kind of a springboard for what i have to
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say to you about his life and his work and the relationship that i had with him, our. this is from the prologue out of print and scared to death. such like this. kurt vonnegut planned to give this new teaching job at the university of iowa his best shot. as he zoomed across the midwest in early september 1965 at his son's new volkswagen beetle is six-foot frame pressing against his head, rubbing his head against the refiner, it was as a fill you were clattering behind him like tin cans tied to the bumper. the ashtray was stuffed with crushed buts of pall mall cigarettes, and the windshield was taney with nicotine from his chain smoking. he had a lot to think about. the 1200-mile cross-country drive between his home on cape cod and i was in the iowa give him all the time that he needed. he was bored by his 20-year marriage to his first love, the former jane cox whom he married barely five months after his release from a prisoner of war camp at the end of world war ii.
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this past summer he had been trying to start an affair with a woman in new york 20 years his junior who in turn was waiting for the writer william price to divorce his wife so that they could marry. this job and the respected iowa writers workshop did not student he was going to leave it and compensate himself for his trouble by coming on strong with sarah. on the other hand, it reminded that he was just an old booze hound on the hunt for affection. she was just a girl, and he was old enough to be her father. she needed him like a case of shingles. no, started in media recite that, the middle of the man's life. kurt vonnegut was not famous, was not popular until he was almost 50 years old. for the first part of his writing life the majority of it, kurt vonnegut was a free-lance writer who was writing fiction for popular magazines like
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ladies home journal, saturday evening post, and just barely making it. he had a large family of six children, they live in a big ramshackle house on cape cod. curt was living paycheck to paycheck. try and put food on the table. he not only wrote stories but tried teaching special education for his semester the did not go all the well. he received an inherited from his father and decided that he should go into selling automobiles and the kate. he thought it was an ideal job for rider. the conceit. lost his shirt. so he was not doing well. 1965 when he went into iowa. jump ahead just a few years to when he sort of swings in sub my view and into the view of a generation. 1969, and i am a college as a student at the university of illinois, draft eligible, when a facing the war in vietnam.
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like so many of the young men my age our fathers had fought in world war two. we were facing charlie a moral dilemma. what we serve? where did our duty lay? breaking like a storm over us is slaughterhouse five in 1969. we embraced it because here we were feeling bewildered and disoriented, not knowing what we would do. slaughterhouse five is billy pilgrim, worse than that, suffering from the strange phenomenon where he ricochets around in time. probably posttraumatic stress disorder.


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